Travel the Maggi galaxy with Antoni Miralda | Food & Drink Feature | Chicago Reader

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Travel the Maggi galaxy with Antoni Miralda

The Spanish food artist has a vast collection of Maggibilia.


  • Dr. Peter Engler
Condiment hoarding disorder is real. Or is it art? In my case the scarcity of kitchen, refrigerator, and office shelf space, packed as it is with bottles, squeeze tubes, and jars, clearly shows I have a problem. You never know when you're going to need that six-year-old kuchela.

Spanish artist Antoni Miralda's collection of Maggi materials (Maggibilia?) is less aspirationally utilitarian than it is an exploration of how the 133-year-old Swiss seasoning brand has spread to become an an integral part of seemingly disparate cuisines all over the world, used from India to France to China, Brazil, Nigeria, and Poland and practically everywhere in between.

Last year Miralda, who's explored the intersection of food and art for the entirety of his long career, mounted The Maggic Banquet in Miami's Little Haiti, a performance that tracked the culinary history of the brand by featuring Maggi-seasoned dishes from the city's various ethnic groups.

Miralda will be presenting slides from the show at Saturday's meeting of  the Chicago Foodways Roundtable. Collaborator Stephan Palmié, Professor of Anthropology and of Social Sciences at the University of Chicago, joins Miralda for the discussion, and together they'll give a presentation on the book they're working on.

It starts at 10 AM at Bethany Retirement Community, 4950 N. Ashland; it's $3 to attend.

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